What is a sign? We usually think that it is a fixed relation; for instance, a red light signifies 'Stop'. This book argues that signs are actually processes, making them an occasion for creative responses rather than automatic and legitimate actions. A red light triggers a process: should I stop?
James Williams develops this new process philosophy of signs through a formal model, in contrast to earlier structuralist definitions. He draws on the philosophies of Deleuze and Whitehead, earlier work on the sign in biology by Jakob von Uexkull and connects critically to contemporary work on process in the philosophy of biology by John Dupre.
A series of practical cases in art, biology, politics, technology, nature and science demonstrate that this formal model for the sign will have wide applications not only for academic subjects but within social and political critique.
A Process Philosophy of Signs
Edinburgh University Press